Even if you have a very clear idea about what you want from your website, it is important to get other people views and find out what else is out there. You won’t have thought of everything, so bit of research will help make sure you know exactly what is needed.
Make sure you know your audience and what they are looking for. If your business is; already up and running. Ask your customers what they think. These are the people you are looking to impress, after all so if you can cater for their needs then you are on to a winner.
If you already have a website that you are looking to redevelop, consider what works and what doesn’t. Take a look at the traffic stats to see what are most popular pages and those that everyone ignore, but bear in mind that people might not be looking at some content because they can’t find it, not because they are not interested.
Organise some user-testing, where you can observe exactly how people are navigating your site. Getting this done properly with specialists using eye tracking technology and it can be very expensive. So if you have limited resources just get friends or relatives who are not too familiar with your site to give you feedback. Tell them not to be too kind enough, negative comments are far more useful then the positive ones.
Check out the competition and steal all the best ideas. You will have to stop short of completely ripping then off course, but there is nothing wrong with building the sensible features they have into their website. You will also want to differentiate your site from everyone else, so also look for things that your rivals haven’t done.
If you are not quite sure who your completion is, Google the keywords that best describe what you are offering and see what comes up. If you get few results, it could mean that you have found a gap in the market- either that, or nobody is interested in what you are offering.
Look beyond your competitor to find sites that you think look good and work well- follow web design blogs like alistapart.com or check out sites nominated for accolades like webby awards. www.webbyawards.com. It is also well worth reading books that cover these areas.
A good way to record and organise the things you like and the ideas you have is to use an online tool like Evernote. You can capture anything like a screenshot, a bit of text, a photo or even a voice recording and add it to you notebook. Wherever you are using browser tools and mobile apps. You can then easily access your notes and organise then to help you write your website Find our more at www.evernote.com anhttps://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html
Alexa alexa.com can be a useful tool to assess the competition and follow the latest trends. Data will be limited for all but the largest sites, but can still help identify your audience and the kind of things they are looking at.